TIME People

Marcy Borders, the Dust-Covered Woman in the Iconic 9/11 Photograph, Has Died of Cancer

She wondered if her exposure to the attack contributed to her illness

Marcy Borders, a survivor of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the subject of one of that day’s most iconic photographs, died on Monday of stomach cancer. She was 41.

Her family first announced her death via Facebook early Tuesday morning.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Borders was one month into a new job as a legal assistant on the 81st floor of One World Trade Center. When American Airlines Flight 11 struck the building a few stories above her office, she fled, making it onto the street just as the adjacent tower collapsed. A stranger pulled her into a nearby lobby, where Agence France-Presse photographer Stan Honda took her picture: her face distraught; her body covered in ash. In the weeks and years following 9/11, the world would thusly know her as the “Dust Lady.”

Meanwhile, she found herself haunted by her experiences that morning, ultimately struggling with depression and substance-abuse issues.

“My life spiraled out of control. I didn’t do a day’s work in nearly 10 years, and by 2011 I was a complete mess,” Borders told the New York Post in June 2011. “Every time I saw an aircraft, I panicked. If I saw a man on a building, I was convinced he was going to shoot me.”

She checked herself into rehab in April 2011, eight days before President Obama appeared on television to announce the death of Osama bin Laden.

“The treatment got me sober, but bin Laden being killed was a bonus,” she told the Post. “I used to lose sleep over him, have bad dreams about bin Laden bombing my house, but now I have peace of mind.”

Borders was diagnosed with cancer last August. Speaking with the Jersey Journal a few months after her diagnosis, she ventured that her exposure to the pollutants emitted by the collapse of the World Trade Center may have contributed to her illness.

“I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses,” she said.

Read next: What We Can Learn From Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Dick Cheney on 9/11

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TIME iPhone

This Man Is Alive Today Because Of Siri

Apple Poised to Sell 10 Million IPhones in Record Debut
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A customer tries the Siri voice assistant function on an Apple Inc. iPhone.

Apple just won a customer for life.

Sam Ray, an 18-year-old from Tennessee, told NBC that he is “thankful to be alive” after Siri saved his life by calling 911.

While trying to make repairs underneath his truck, a jack collapsed, causing Ray to be crushed by the vehicle. He was home alone and in an area in which he likely wouldn’t have been seen or heard by anyone until it was too late. But luckily, as the pressure from the 5,000 pounds crushed him, Siri activated on his iPhone, and he was able to command it to call 911.

Christina Lee, the Rutherford County dispatcher Ray was connected to, told NBC that Ray was yelling out his address, which was the “best thing he could have done” because the cellphone signal can only lead dispatchers to a general location.

Ray incurred fairly severe injuries including broken ribs, a bruised kidney, cuts, a concussion, and several burns. Chief of trauma and surgical care at Vanderbilt University, Rick Miller, said that Ray was lucky and injuries like his could sometimes be fatal.

TIME Behind the Photos

What We Can Learn From Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Dick Cheney on 9/11

Never-before-seen photographs shot inside the White House bunker on Sept. 11 offer an intimate look at how Dick Cheney was affected by the day's events

Pictures of the burning World Trade Center towers, images seared in minds around the U.S. and the world, quickly came to define the Sept. 11 attacks in graphic fashion. And it’s not hard to see why: those images shocked a nation, sowing grief, sorrow and anguish among Americans—including, as never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes images have shown, the nation’s leaders.

On July 24, the National Archives and Records Administration released 356 photos shot on Sept. 11, 2001, by Vice President Dick Cheney’s official photographer David Bohrer. The publication was the result of a decade-long fight by Frontline producer Colette Neirouz Hanna to gain access to the images. The photographs, shot as Cheney and other members of George W. Bush’s administration sought refuge in the President’s Emergency Operations Center underneath the White House, don’t reveal anything we didn’t know about that day’s events. Still, they provide insight into the emotional state of the country’s leaders at these unprecedented trying times.

“There were many pictures of the event itself,” says Fred Ritchin, a photography critic and the Dean of the School at the International Center of Photography in New York. “But, until now, we didn’t really see the response of the people in power and how they felt about it. These photographs make it much more tangible and visible. We can really feel what is being felt.”

“You can see the grief and anguish on the Vice President’s face,” adds Neirouz Hanna. “Being able to see these photos for the first time is a remarkable and important contribution to the historical record.”

Yet the photographs remained concealed for almost 15 years. “We’ve been reporting and producing films about September 11 and its aftermath since day one,” says Neirouz Hanna, “and in order to help illustrate a lot of the scenes in these films I would look for these photographs and make countless requests to the Bush administration and Cheney administration. We were just consistently denied.”

According to the Frontline producer, the administration held onto the photographs until January 2009, at which time they were transferred to the National Archives and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. After an expected five-year embargo, all documents were made available under the Freedom of Information Act.

But, an administration’s rebuttals often come from a desire to portray the office of the presidency and vice-presidency in a positive way, especially when you take into consideration the power of an image, as Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush, tells TIME. As a result, political concerns will dictate the type of pictures that are released by White House staffers. “There’s a political element to make the President look strong, decisive, in charge,” says Fleischer. “Unless it’s for humor, you’ll never see any White House release pictures that make the President look bad.”

Michael Davis, the Lead Picture Editor for the White House from 2001 to 2004, remembers arguing for more behind-the-scenes photographs to be disclosed on Sept. 11, but, he was convinced otherwise. “They were considering so many different things that I don’t know where the notion of informing the public [fell] on the hierarchy,” he says. “I remember having a meeting pretty late that night with the [President’s] Chief of Staff and the Communications Director, and the decision was not to release any images of the president that night because releasing photos of him on that day would have drawn attention away from what needed to be [focused on] and that was the victims and what was happening in New York and the Pentagon. I completely agreed with that.”

Even though no images would be released that day, the staff photographers continued their work. Now, years later, the images they were able to capture can add a new layer to public understanding of that dark moment in history. For example, one picture of CIA director George Tenet listening to the President’s address to the nation communicates a feeling that many officials might have tried to hide at the time: “The look on Tenet’s face really said it all,” explains Gordon Johndroe, who served as Deputy Press Secretary for the President from 2001 to 2003. “[It shows] what a long, stressful and unbelievable day it had been. And at that point, they are waiting for the President to finish his speech and walk back to the bunker because they had another meeting. Tenet knew he wasn’t going home any time soon.”

The released photographs also offer the closest look at Vice President Cheney’s emotional state on Sept. 11. “The decisions being made down there involved life and death,” says Fleischer. “For instance, the decision that the President made on Air Force One – and that he and the Vice President discussed – authorizing the shoot down of civilian aircrafts, and the moments of doubt when a civilian aircraft went down in Pennsylvania; a photographer caught that. Think of how searing, how gripping, how vivid and emotional and unscripted all that was.” And that’s what Bohrer’s photographs convey, adds Jared Ragland, a White House Photo Editor and Digital Imaging Specialist who joined Bush’s administration in 2005. “These photographs capture the emotional timbre of that morning and then throughout the day. You see these emotional responses. You see these looks of sadness, bewilderment, exhaustion. You see that human element.”

Looking at Bohrer’s images, there’s little doubt that Sept. 11 had a profound impact on the people who spent most of that day in the White House’s bunker. “That was the day that changed him,” says Johndroe, in reference to Vice President Cheney. “I think you begin to see the transformation that day, the anguish on his face.”

For Ari Fleischer, these images highlight not just the power of history to shape individuals, but also the power of photography to shape history. “It shows [people] what that day was like as if they could be there today,” he says. “That’s what photos can accomplish, and particularly on those momentous days like Pearl Harbor, like D-Day, and like Sept. 11. Our nation wants to remember and photos help people to remember.”

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME iPhone

Telling Siri This Command Calls 9-1-1

Apple Poised to Sell 10 Million IPhones in Record Debut
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A customer tries the Siri voice assistant function on an Apple Inc. iPhone.

But it's probably not intentional.

Next time you want to charge your phone, don’t tell Siri to do it. Firstly, Siri can’t plug in your phone charger for you, no matter how far the outlet is from your couch. And secondly, telling Siri “charge my phone 100%” prompts the phone to call emergency services.

Some conspiracy theorists have guessed that the command gives iPhone users a way to call 911 without tipping off those within earshot–a capability that could be useful in emergency situations. But what’s more likely is that Siri is just responding to the keywords in the command. The Daily Dot noted that Siri also places the emergency call in response to the command “Phone 100” and “Phone 110.” Those are the emergency numbers in India and China, The Daily Dot said.

We’ve reached out to Apple for further clarification, but for now, it looks like the feature isn’t a secret kidnap-rescue command.

 

TIME National Security

Study Says White Extremists Have Killed More Americans in the U.S. Than Jihadists Since 9/11

Wisconsin Community Pays Respects to Sikhs Killed in Shooting Rampage
Darren Hauck—Getty Images Two women hug as community members in Oak Creek, Wisc., pay respects to the six victims in the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Aug. 10, 2012

Radical Islamists were also indicted more frequently than non-Muslim extremists and served longer sentences

Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than radical Islamists have, according to research by the New America Foundation.

In their June study, the foundation decided to examine groups “engaged in violent extremist activity” and found that white extremists were by far the most dangerous. They pointed to the recent Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., and the 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, as well as many lesser-known attacks on Jewish institutions and on police. They found that 48 people were killed by white terrorists, while 26 were killed by radical Islamists, since Sept. 11.

The study also found that the criminal justice system judged jihadists more harshly than their non-Muslim counterparts, indicting them more frequently than non-jihadists and handing down longer sentences.

See a full breakdown of the numbers here.

TIME cities

See the First Images of the Last New World Trade Center Tower

Designs for 2 WTC revealed

Architects unveiled the designs for 2 World Trade Center on Tuesday, which will be the last tower built on the site of the World Trade Center.

The new tower, designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (of BIG) and developed by Silverstein Properties, is slated to become the new home of 21st Century Fox and News Corp. The building is specifically designed to “restore the majestic skyline of Manhattan and unite the streetscapes of Tribeca,” Ingels said in a statement. “From TriBeCa, the home of lofts and roof gardens, it will appear like a vertical village of singular buildings stacked on top of each other to create parks and plazas in the sky. From the World Trade Center, the individual towers will appear unified, completing the colonnade of towers framing the 9/11 Memorial. Horizontal meets vertical. Diversity becomes unity.”

2 World Trade Center will be the fourth and last tower built on the site of the World Trade Center buildings destroyed on 9/11.

TIME U.K.

Top Oxford University Academic Says the U.S. ‘Overreacted’ to 9/11

Apparently, the British are historically more resilient to terrorist threats

Incoming Oxford University vice chancellor Louise Richardson said this week that the U.S. overreacted to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, thanks in large part to the American populace’s lack of exposure to violent extremism, according to a report in the U.K. Telegraph.

The professor, who specializes in the study of terrorism, made the remarks during a British Council conference in London on Tuesday. During a panel discussion focusing on radicalization in universities, Richardson added that the British have historically had a much more levelheaded response to terrorism.

“The British population in the course of the Troubles and violence in Northern Ireland proved really quite resilient, I think far more so than the U.S.,” said Richardson. “And the scale of the overreaction in the U.S. to the 9/11 atrocity was reflective of the fact that it was such a new experience in the U.S.”

Last week, Richardson was nominated to become Oxford University’s new vice chancellor, making her the first woman to hold the position since its creation in 1230, reports the BBC.

Read more at the Telegraph.

TIME viral

Read a Sixth-Grader’s Handwritten Apology for Making a Prank 911 Call

apology
Savannah Chatham Police

He's still grounded, though

A remorseful young troublemaker wrote an apology note and read it aloud to emergency dispatchers after he mad a prank call to 911 on a dare from his friends.

“I am writing an apology letter for what I did last night,” the unnamed sixth-grader wrote. “Last night I called and said ‘dezz nuts.'”

The kid wrote “dezz nuts,” but may have actually said “deez nuts” in the prank call.

“I know there will be consequences, and I will not complain about them,” he wrote. “I am sorry for what I did and I hope you can forgive me.” He wrote that he made the call because his friends dared him to do it.

His parents made him write the note and read it aloud to the on-duty emergency communications staff at Savannah-Chatham 911 center. Emergency dispatchers were so impressed that they accepted his apology and then gave him and his family a tour of their office.

He’s still grounded, though.

 

MONEY investing strategy

16 Facts You Never Would Have Believed Before They Happened

"History never looks like history when you are living through it." — John W. Gardner

A reminder for those making predictions.

You would have never believed it if, in the mid-1980s, someone told you that in the next two decades the Soviet Union would collapse, Japan’s economy would stagnate for 20 years, China would become a superpower, and North Dakota would be ground zero for global energy growth.

You would have never believed it if, in 1930, someone told you there would be a surge in the birthrate from 1945 to 1965, creating a massive generation that would have all kinds of impacts on the economy and society.

You would have never believed it if, in 2004, someone told you a website run by a 19-year-old college dropout on which you look at pictures of your friends would be worth nearly a quarter-trillion dollars in less than a decade. (Nice job, Facebook.)

You would never have believed it if, in 1900, as your horse and buggy got stuck in the mud, someone pointed to the moon and said, “We’ll be walking on that during our lifetime.”

You would have never believed it if, in late 1945, someone told you that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki no country would use a nuclear weapon in war for at least seven decades.

You would have never believed it if, eight years ago, someone told you the Federal Reserve would print $3 trillion and what followed would be some of the lowest inflation in decades.

You would have never believed it if, in 2000, someone told you Enron was about to go bankrupt and Apple would become the most innovative, valuable company in the world. (The opposite looked highly likely.)

You would have never believed it if, in 1910, when forecasts predicted the United States would deplete its oil within 10 years, that a century later we’d be pumping 8.6 million barrels of oil a day.

You would have never believed it if, three years ago, someone told you that Uber, an app connecting you with a stranger in a Honda Civic, would be worth almost as much as General Motors.

You would have never believed it if, 15 years ago, someone told you that you’d be able to watch high-definition movies and simultaneously do your taxes on a 4-inch piece of glass and metal.

You would have never believed it if, in 2000, someone said the biggest news story of the next decade — economically, politically, socially, and militarily — would be a group of guys with box cutters.

You would have never believed it if, in 2002, someone told you we’d go at least 11 years without another major terrorist attack in America.

You would have never believed it if, in 1997, someone told you that the biggest threat to Microsoft were two Stanford students working out of a garage on a search engine with an odd, misspelled name.

You would have never believed it if, just a few years ago, someone told you investors would be buying government debt with negative interest rates.

You would have never believed it if, in 2008, as U.S. “peak oil” arguments were everywhere, that within six years America would be pumping more oil than Saudi Arabia.

You would have never believed it if, after the lessons of World War I, someone told you there’d be an even bigger war 25 years later.

But all of that stuff happened. And they were some of the most important stories of the last 100 years. The next 100 years will be the same.

For more on this:

TIME People

This 911 Dispatcher Broke the Rules to Save a Toddler’s Life

Knowing that the toddler needed immediate help, the Virginia dispatcher didn't give it a second thought

Tim Webb risked his job and broke the rules to save the life of 17-month-old boy.

The 911 dispatcher at Virginia’s Galax Police Department recently received a frantic call from Melissa Grable, describing how her young son Aidan had suddenly become lifeless during a nap, reports Fox2 Now.

The boy, who was previously feeling ill, had suffered a seizure and stopped breathing. Sensing they only had minutes to act, the distraught mom begged Webb for directions on what to do.

The dispatcher asked if anyone on the other end knew CPR. When Grable said no, Webb was left with a tough decision.

Webb himself knows CPR, but the Galax Police Department does not have a emergency medical dispatch certification. This means dispatchers are prohibited from giving CPR directions over the phone.

But at that moment, Webb decided the rules didn’t apply. Knowing that Aidan needed immediate help, Webb gave instructions to Grable on how to perform CPR on her son.

“Without some sort of life-saving measures, the child would expire. I wasn’t gonna let that happen, even if it meant being reprimanded.” said Webb.

Grable and Aidan’s grandmother carefully followed the steps and 20 minutes later, when the ambulance arrived, Aidan was breathing again.

To thank Webb for his selfless choice, Aidan and his family stopped by the police department several weeks after that frightening call. The police department also applauded Webb for acting quickly and taking a risk in order to save a child’s life.

“It makes you realize why you get up, why you come to work, and why you do what you do.” said Webb.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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